A live-in boyfriend will serve 30 days in jail for child abuse after he strong-armed one of his girlfriend’s sons.
The boyfriend, Jerry Lane Messick, 35, entered a guilty plea before General Sessions Judge Bill Locke to the charge of child abuse and domestic assault. He was ordered to serve 30 days of an 11-month, 29-day sentence and undergo batterer intervention. He has been ordered to stay away from his girlfriend and the children until he completes at least four of the batterer classes.
Messick was arrested after police arrived to investigate a domestic dispute. Officers separated the woman and man and talked to them separately and found both had different stories on what had transpired.
However, there was no doubt the woman’s 12-year-old son had suffered injuries during whatever happened.
“He had a visible red mark on his chest as well as his back,” said patrolman Matthew Stubblefield of McMinnville Police Department.
The mother told lawmen she returned home from work to find her sons arguing with Messick. She noted Messick had lived with the family for about two months, adding he had been drinking leading up to the time of the assault.
“He had gone after her son two times,” Stubblefield revealed. “She tried to pull Mr. Messick off her son. Her other son tried to get him off his brother by hitting him in the back with a broomstick.”
While the mother said Messick was the aggressor, the suspect claimed he was simply trying to stop the boys from fighting.
“He stated the boys were arguing and he tried to break them up,” Stubblefield said of the suspect’s story, noting he smelled alcohol on Messick.
The suspect admitted to having a couple of beers and owned up to “palming” the boy in the chest during the domestic dispute.